Caring for a relative during Covid19


New member
Mar 29, 2020
I care for a 85 year old mother in law who lives alone. She has mid stage Alzheimer's with virtually no memory recall, this we accept along with many of the challenges expected of the disease. She will not allow carers or cleaners in the house and will only allow me to do minimal activities in the house as long as nothing is moved or removed. Housework is not and never has been a priority so it's hard for me to do anything without aggressive response. She refuses to stay in on a daily basis as she is lonely and her response is shes got to get out. Food buying will now be piling up as I cannot visit as often as I did to minimise contact in this difficult time. The biggest issue in her world is the weekly hairdresser visit has stopped and I am having to visit once a week to wash and roller hair. Sounds mad but it has to be done as she expects it to be done. This weekly visit allows me to check on out of date food. I am so worried that she is more of a risk to me and my family at home. What can I do!


Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
South coast
Hello @Joanne Harris and welcome to DTP

This is a very difficult time and households like yours are repeating the same situation up and down the country everywhere.

Getting people with dementia to stay in is an impossible task. Some people have found that official looking posters on the door help, but most people with dementia either become annoyed or simply ignore it. I think that you are doing the best that you can under the circumstances.

You mentioned that you were worried that your mum might be a risk to you and your family. Is there anyone at your home who is in the high risk category? If not, then I wouldnt worry too much. Make sure you remove your coat and shoes and then wash your hands thoroughly before you do anything else when you fist get in. You could also, if you wished, wear latex gloves (if you can find any) when you visit your mum and take them off and put them in a plastic bag for disposal before driving.


Registered User
Aug 9, 2019
Hi Joanne,

I haven't been on here for quite a long time but found it comforting in the past so thought I would give it a go. I am in a rather similar situation to you and want advice. My 88 year old mother has dementia (she has had it so long that I can't now remember what her diagnosis is). I would guess that she is mid stage - she knows me and the grandchildren anyway. However, she cannot make a cup of tea, would not go to the fridge to get herself food and there are a lot of issues with poo. She does have carers, but half of care was provided by Age UK who stopped working about two weeks ago. I have found another private care company who are going in some of the time and I am doing the rest. This means that I am going in almost every day. There is no way that I can do anything else as she cannot look after herself in any way.

I phoned social services when Age UK shut down and asked what I should do should I become ill, the woman on the phone said 'what about the neighbours'. They are not going to provide meals for my mother two or three times per day, empty the commode, clear up poo etc! I have come on here because there must be many others who are in a similar situation, I got very upset at the instructions not to go to your mother's on Mother's Day, if only! I feel people in this situation are rather forgotten - where is the advice and support? Also I tried to get her a Sainsbury delivery as an old person, but you have to go on Gov.Uk and having done that, she didn't fit the criteria - any suggestions how to get food delivered for a very elderly person? I am trying not to go into a shop or other hot spot unless absolutely necessary given that I have to care for my mum.

Sorry, this is not helpful to you, but I was grateful to read a message from someone in a similar position.


Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
hi @Hamilton10
you are doing so much for your mum ... she is fortunate to have you supporting her .... so sorry you are not getting the support you need

what was it that held your mum back from qualifying on the Gov site ... maybe you misinterpreted something or you pressed a button in error !? ... might a different supermarket work instead?

would your mother recognise cold food left for her eg sandwiches, cakes, fruit, a hearty salad, bottle drinks or even mugs left in strategic placrs ... so you could leave some meals out for her ... though hot drinks are tricky, I guess a flask wouldn't be opened ... I appreciate that none of that may be appropriate

personally, I'd email her GP and Social Services putting exactly what you have put in your post, she's a vulnerable adult at risk of harm through self neglect as she wouldn't eat or keep clean if on her own

sorry ... of no real help